To cook the maize rice in the microwave, place in a sieve and rinse under running water.
Turn into a large bowl for microwave cooking and add the water.
Cover and cook on DEFROST for 30 minutes.
This step eliminates soaking prior to cooking.
Add salt, stir well, cover loosely and cook on MEDIUM for about 20 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals until the maize rice is quite tender or to cook on top of the stove, prepare according to the directions on pack.
Stir in the butter and cream and cook on MEDIUM for 3 minutes more or simmer on top of the stove for 5 minutes.
Adjust the consistency and taste adding more salt and cream - it should be moderately firm but not too stiff.
To cook the vegetables, place the butter, onion and flavouring ingredients up to the cayenne pepper in a large saucepan and cook gently stirring for 5 minutes.
Add all the ingredients up to and including the chick peas and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Add the baby marrows and raisins and simmer 20 minutes more until cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Adjust seasoning and cool until ready to reheat and use.
To serve, place the cooked maize rice in a mound on a large serving platter and arrange the hot vegetables around it.
Garnish with parsley and/or spring onion and pass a bowl of grated cheese and the pepper mill around.